Lexington, KY - Preparations continue for the 2012 Olympic Games for the United States' top dressage riders with USET/USEF pre-Olympic Games Training Sessions conducted by USEF Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons and Olympian Steffen Peters. The training session schedule in Florida, which kicked off January 6-8, also included sessions February 10-12 at Walter and Mary Anne McPhail's High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, FL and concluded last weekend at Betsy Juliano's Havensafe South Farm in Royal Palm Beach, FL.
The USET/USEF pre-Olympic Games Training Sessions have given Gribbons and Peters the ability to work with the majority of the country's top contenders; the two have a dynamic partnership that lends itself greatly to guiding both horse and rider and elevating the level of performance from both. In preparation for the inclusion of the Olympic Grand Prix Special in the team competition at the 2012 Olympic Games, the training sessions allow riders to perform the test for Gribbons, who is also an FEI 5* judge, and then review film of the tests as a group.
At the February session Gribbons and Peters worked with nine horses (eight riders) and at the March session with seven horses (six riders).
"I'm so excited about the opportunity to ride in these training sessions because you get the judges eye from Anne and the training ideas from Steffen," said Jim Koford, who participated in all Florida three sessions. "Just the way the sessions are formatted where you ride a test, it's filmed and then you review it, both from a trainers view and a judges view it's really super preparation. Every time I've ridden in one of these sessions and then competed the next week I have much more of a clear picture of how to set up and what I'm after."
The training session schedule also included two sessions in California.
"Steffen and I have done five sessions together since December and have had fabulous attendance," said Gribbons. "We have managed to see every viable horse for the 2012 Olympic Games and have worked with each one at least twice. We now have a very good idea of how the horses are functioning both in training and at competitions. I have been to the majority of the CDIs this year and that gives a lot to go by heading towards the trials. I am happy to say we have a number of horses that are looking really good and am excited to see them at the Selection Trials."